Nashville's mayoral special election: who's running? - WSMV News 4

Nashville's mayoral special election: who's running?

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(WSMV file photo) (WSMV file photo)

A surprise ruling came down from the Tennessee Supreme Court on Tuesday moving up Nashville's upcoming mayoral special election by more than two months. It has many Nashvillians wondering...who's running for the job? 

Fourteen candidates have qualified for the special election on May 24. The date was decided on Wednesday by the Davidson County Election Committee after the ruling came down from the state's high court. 

The commission initially ruled the election would coincide with the local general election on Aug. 2, 2018. But former Metro Councilmember and mayoral candidate Ludye Wallace filed a lawsuit saying the date went against the rules set forth in the Metro Charter. 

The state's highest court agreed and unanimously ruled that the election must take place between May 21-25, 2018 or 75 to 80 days after the post was vacated. 

It's a short turnaround for a growing city that just lost their widely-popular leader, Megan Barry, when she resigned as mayor on March 9 in order to avoid felony charges theft of Metro property, a crime committed while she had an affair with her former bodyguard, Sgt. Rob Forrest. 

Some of the names you'll quickly recognize, like the current Mayor David Briley, who was sworn in the same day Barry resigned, and other current and former local elected leaders like Councilwoman-at-Large Erica Gilmore and former Councilman Luyde Wallace. However, many of the candidates are newcomers or lesser known members of Nashville's political scene.

Here's what we dug up about each of them (candidates are listed in alphabetical order): 

Carlin J Carlin Alford (Courtesy: Middle Tennessee Storm)Alford

Alford is the Director of Customer Success and Strategy at the Nashville-based online software company BOLDplanning Inc. The company develops online systems related to emergency planning and other services. 

He is the head coach of the Middle Tennessee Storm, a minor league baseball team based in Nashville. Alford also serves as a school board member and the volunteer athletic director at F.H. Jenkins Preparatory School, a private K-8 school in North Nashville. 

Alford is a Nashville resident but is originally from Niles, Michigan. He has a bachelor of science in communications from Andrews University. 

David Briley

Currently serving as the eighth Mayor of Nashville in the interim between Megan Barry's resignation and the upcoming special election, David Briley is hoping to keep his current gig. And considering his current position, he's widely considered as a favorite for the job. 

So far as acting mayor, Briley has proposed a plan to demolish Greer Stadium turn it into a public park. He's also been a vocal supporter of his Mayor David Briley (Credit: David Briley for Mayor)predecessor's transit plan, which is up for a citywide referendum vote on May 1, even signing the ceremonial "Declaration of Transportation Independence" alongside several other state and local officials. 

Before being sworn-in as active mayor on March 6, Briley served as vice mayor and a councilman-at-large. He ran for mayor for the first time in 2006 and was elected vice mayor in 2015. He was voted "Best Councilmember" by the Nashville Scene in 2001, 2002 and 2006.

As a councilman, Briley proposed a controversial measure in 2005 to provide free, citywide internet access. The resolution wasn't passed, but it led to the city's later decision to offer free, wireless internet in all Davidson County libraries and many public parks. In 2007, Metro Council passed a resolution Briley wrote requiring all government buildings to be built with LEED certifications. 

Briley was also a practicing lawyer at Bone McAllester Norton PLLC until he became mayor. He earned a bachelors degree at Georgetown University and studied administrative and environmental law at Golden Gate University. 

Briley is a native Nashvillian and grandson of Beverly Briley, the first-ever mayor of the combined Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County. He attended Glendale Elementary, Lipscomb Middle School and graduated from Montgomery Bell Academy. He is married to Jodie Bell, a criminal defense attorney, and has a 14-year-old son named Sam. 

Ralph Bristol

"I’m running for mayor because our city has lost its way, and is currently serving the few at the expense of the many," Ralph Bristol wrote on his conservative blog Right Corner Pocket.

When Bristol announced his candidacy, he cited his position against the transit referendum as his main reason for entering the race. 

He also promises to run an "open government," as opposed to Megan Barry, who he says "dodged interviews with hostile media," and will conduct most of his business as mayor "in an open office, with media access, including most phone calls."

Bristol is retired but worked in radio and TV broadcasting for over 30 years. He is most known for hosting the conservative radio show "Nashville's Morning News" on Cumulus Media's Supertalk 99.7 WTN. Bristol was terminated from his position at Cumulus due to what he called, "irreconcilable editorial differences" in Jan. of 2018.

Bristol is a U.S. Air Force Veteran. He served as the past president of the Donelson-Hermitage TN Rotary Club and the fundraising chairman for Music City Honor Flight, a program took more than 600 WWII veterans in Middle Tennessee on a free trip to Washington D.C. to see the WWII Memorial.  

He is married to Marianna Bristol, who also hosts a talk-radio show. Bristol originally from Valentine, Nebraska. 

Jeff Obafemi Carr

Jeff Carr is a has been an outspoken community activist in Nashville for decades. He's also an actor, writer, jazz singer and former journalist. 

Carr currently works for the political action committee, NoTax4 Tracks, fighting Nashville's proposed transit referendum. He represented the groupJeff Carr (Credit: Jeff Carr via Twitter) in a town hall-style debate against Transit for Nashville hosted by News4 and The Tennessean

In his online biography, Carr says he "could easily have become a statistic" until getting into trouble landed him in a local juvenile detention facility as a teen. He decided to turn his life around; he graduated high school and then went on to study theater and communications at Tennessee State University. He was president of the Student Government Association as a senior, as well as lead hundreds of students in a now-famous sit-in that shut down the campus in 1990. The protest led the state to provide $140 million for necessary renovations to the campus. 

After graduating from TSU, he spent 11 years self-publishing "The Third Eye," a monthly newspaper in Nashville. He also hosted a community talk show on WVOL, the local station that gave Oprah her start in broadcast media. 

Carr has performed in dozens of local theater productions and co-starred in the feature film "The Second Chance" with Michael W. Smith. He has also written 3 professionally-produced plays, including the children’s choreo-poem, "Before The People Came" and his one-man, seven-character play, "How Blak Kin Eye Bee?" which he performed at the Ryman Auditorium. He wrote the book "Black Stuff: Poetry and Essays on the Afrikan-American Experience" and essays published in Essence, The Black World Today and The Tennessee Tribune. Carr is also a licensed minister. He is divorced and has one daughter. 

JJulia Clark-Johnsonulia Clark-Johnson

According to her campaign website, Julia Clark-Johnson is an "experienced" public servant "dedicated to building a successful community in the growing population of Nashville."

Clark-Johnson was a teacher for over 20 years in St. Louis County, Missouri. She also is a trained professional driver "familiar with [the] department of transportation policies, homeland security, and passport regulations." 

Her biography also says she served eight terms as a public servant, but it doesn't say where she served or the position she held. She was born in Waynesville, Missouri and is the daughter of two veterans, who were stationed in Stuttgart, Germany when she was a child.

Roy Dale

Former Councilman Roy Dale is a civil engineer and CEO of Dale & Associates. He has worked in planning, zoning, land development and construction management for over 30 years, including four years working for the city's Department of Public Works and the Metropolitan Planning Commission. He is consideredRoy Dale (Credit: Dale & Associates) an expert on land use and zoning in Middle Tennessee. 

His company has developed multiple apartment complexes, neighborhoods, mixed-use developments around Nashville, including the city's first "green" neighborhood, Greenside Park in East Nashville, Harpeth Village in Bellevue, and the city's first-ever "green" park, The Park at Ewing Creek.

Dale served two terms on Metro Council (from 1991 to 1999) and one term as a commissioner for the TN Dept. of Environment and Conservation. The conservative candidate ran for councilman-at-large in 2002 but was not elected. 

Roy is married to Lisa Dale, who founded the environmental non-profit EarthCredits. They have seven children. 

Erica Gilmore

CouncilwomErica Gilmore (Credit: City of Nashville)an-at-Large Erica Gilmore has served on Metro Council since 2007. She is chair of the Council's Health, Hospitals and Social Services Committee and former president of the Minority Caucus. She was also elected Speaker Pro Tempore by the Council for one term.

She served as a broad member of the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials where she helped institute initiatives executed by black officials serving in local governments across the country.

Gilmore is the Assistant Dean of Student Conduct at TSU and an adjunct professor at Fisk University and Nashville State Community College. She also taught in Metro Schools for five years. 

She is the daughter of State Rep. Brenda Gilmore, who represents the 54th District of Tennessee, and served on Nashville's Metro Council for 10 years. 

Gilmore graduated from Whites Creek High School. She received a B.A. in English from Howard University, an M.A. in English at degree at TSU and studied local and state government at Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She has one daughter. 

Albert Hacker

Regional sales representative for medical supplies company LeMaitre Vascular and former starting center for the Lipscomb University Bisons, Albert Hacker is one of the youngest candidates running for mayor. 

Hacker graduated from Lipscomb University with a B.A. in business management in 2004. He played professional basketball in Europe before working in sales. He is also a longtime volunteer at the Nashville Rescue Mission. 

David L. Hiland

David Hilland is a U.S. Army Veteran and award-winning barber at Forty Ten Barber Studio in Green Hills, who says "servicing and listening to the people of Nashville is a must." 

“A lot of long-term residents are worried about the future of Nashville as well as the people running it. I will stand for the people of Nashville and not stand on them,” Hiland says on his campaign website.

Hilland is a native Nashvillian. He graduated from Stratford High School in 1993. His campaign platform includes advocating for the city's youth and homeless populations, lowering violent crime rates and increasing the availability of affordable housing. 

 “It’s great to have Nashville be recognized as an “IT” city," Hilland says, "but I’m not for selling the soul of Nashville."

Rep. Harold M. Love Jr.

Harold Love is the Democratic representative for the 58rd District of Tennessee and the pastor Lee Chapel A.M.E Church. Harold Love Jr. (Courtesy: TN General Assembly)

He serves as the House Democratic Caucus Secretary and chaplain of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators. 

His father, Harold Love Sr., served as Metro Council for 8 years and then went on to represent the state's District 54 for 36 years. 

Love earned a B.A. in economics and finance from TSU, an M.A. in theology from Vanderbilt University and a Ph.D. in public policy and administration from TSU. 

Jeffery A. Napier

Jeff Napier Jeff Napier (Courtesy: Jeff Napier for Mayor via Facebook)bills himself as a "true Nashville native looking to bring common sense back to our city government and stop the outrageous spending by previous mayors."

Napier identifies himself as a conservative, Republican candidate. He's semi-retired now but worked as a heavy truck and fire engine mechanic for Metro Nashville for 10 years. He also worked as a limousine driver for five years. 

"After seeing his parents aging and on a fixed income from retirement, realizing that if the current trends in [the] cost of living and rapidly increasing tax rates are not brought under control soon, his parent's retirement will be gobbled up by taxes," Napier says on his campaign Facebook page. He gained interest in running for mayor "in the last few years" because of the "outrageous spending" by the last three mayors. 

His main campaign promise is to reduce spending across the city, including his position against the transit plans. He also supports the revitalization of the Fairgrounds as it is now, but hopes to put in a theme park there in the future. He wants to hire more police officers and fire dept. works to fight the opioid epidemic, youth violence and school bullying. As a past Metro employee, Napier also wants to improve their benefits. 

Napier was born in Nashville and graduated from Stratford High School. He is a U.S. Army Veteran who served at Fort Hood and Fort Campbell.

Jon SewellJon Sewell (Courtesy: IMDB)

Sewell is an actor, carpenter and artist based in Nashville. He has appeared in many country music videos and currently plays "Ronnie" in CMT's Still the King starring Billy Ray Cyrus. He also owns The Packing Plant, an art gallery on Hagan Street in Wedgewood-Houston. 

Sewell is a Nashville native. He earned a B.A. in foreign languages, political science and philosophy from the University of Memphis and an M.A. from Vanderbilt University. He also spent several years as an apprentice for the Carpenters Union and eventually became a foreman. 

Dr. Carol M SwainDr. Carol M. Swain

Dr. Carol Swain is an award-winning political scientist, author, and former professor of law and political science at Vanderbilt University and Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.   

Dr. Swain's political commentaries and books have been published by CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, BBC, NPR, Fox News and more. Her first book, "Black Faces, Black Interests: The Representation of African Americans in Congress," won the Woodrow Wilson Prize for the best book published on U.S. government, politics and international affairs, and was cited in rulings by U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Amtjpmu Lemmedu and Kistoce Sandra Day O'Connor. 

Swain's conservative views expressed as a commentator on CNN, have sometimes garnered criticism from her former students. She was one for the first to call for Barry's resignation and opposes the transit referendum, instead of supporting an alternative plan for a regional transit system. 

Ludye Wallace

Former 19th District Metro Councilman and current head of the Nashville's NAACP chapter, Ludye Wallace, is who the city can credit for the change of the mayor special election date, announced Tuesday by the state supreme court. Ludye Wallace (WSMV file photo)

Wallace and the NAACP filed a lawsuit against the city after the Davidson Co. Election commission decided to hold the special election on the same day in August as the upcoming general election, which according to the court, went against the rules set forth in the Metro Charter. 

During his time with the NAACP, Wallace has spoken for the city's African-American community on many topics, including forming the Justice for Jocques Coalition, a group calling former Mayor Megan Barry to establish a community oversight board to monitor Metro Police and fight for more community policing training for officers after one shot and killed an unarmed black man, Jocques Clemmons at Cayce Homes on the afternoon of Feb. 17, 2017. 

Wallace served two terms on Metro Council. He has a B.S. in political science and government from TSU. He is originally from Bessemer, Alabama. 

Copyright 2018 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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